If you have never been part of a will reading, it's a good idea to know ahead of time what to expect. This includes the steps that are involved to execute a will. If a family member dies, you simply cannot go to their home and claim what you know has been left behind to you in the will. There are things that must be handled first before items can be bequeathed to the beneficiaries of the will.
The very first thing the executor of a will is supposed to do when the creator of the will has died is to step in and start running the show. This is their legal duty they have been asked to complete. You should have the most recent copy of the will in your possession and execute the funeral arrangements. Identify outstanding debts and handle any other issues.
The next step is to make sure all unpaid taxes are paid, the first of which should be through any local, state or federal taxing authorities. You should not even think about putting the will through probate before unpaid taxes in the deceased person's name are paid.
Once the will goes through probate, it can then be executed to the wishes outlined in the document. This is when the executor can begin distributing the assets remaining to those who have been named as beneficiaries in the will. Make sure that every last wish is met.
Now that you know what is involved in executing a will, you can prepare for the first time you ever take part in the reading of a will. This is a stressful and emotional time so be sure you are prepared.